9780217504065: Life of Mahavira

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1908 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. Childhood--education--marriage and posterity. Mahavira's life may be divided into three periods. The first discovers him in the enjoyment of the royal grandeur of his father and leading a pious life of a Shravaka or a house-holder. In the second he is deeply immersed in the religious meditation, Dhyana, and severe bodily mortification, of which Yoga is but a form, in order to prepare himself for the great work of a religious preacher which has given a lasting permanancy to his name. In the beginning of this period we find him disgusted with the worldly pleasures and determined to know the truth by meditation. At the end of it we find him the master of the truth, a Kevalin. In the third period we find him preaching his gospel to his pupils and the men of the world and bearing all the hardships that a religious preacher has to suffer, thus realising his doctrines in his right conduct, Samyak-charitra. His birth and Nirvana being added to these make the five great points of his life described so beautifully in the Jaina Shastras, and known as the five Kalyanakas. Then we begin with the early life of Mahavira. As a matter of fact, the early lives of great men, great in the real sense of the word, are always wrapped up in mystery. Superstitious men as we are, we are likely to invent by our conjectures, myths and miracles, and connect them with the early epochs of the lives of great men. Common people are easily led to believe any thing that is said by the more refined among them. It is how the lives of great men grow mysterious. Mahavira's early life is also looked upon as a sort of mysterious thing, but the spell is easily broken if we subject it to a little scrutinizing and comparative study of the Jaina Shastras. Thus we see that both...

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